SAN DIEGO -- In five at-bats during Friday's 6-0 Reds win over the Padres, right fielder Jay Bruce did not hit one ball to right field. That's rare for Bruce, who hits a majority of balls to right and right-center.
Against San Diego, the left-handed Bruce grounded out to third base, flied out twice to left field, hit a leadoff double to left field and flied to center field. The Padres did employ a shift for the pull.
"I wouldn't consider myself an opposite-field hitter," Bruce said Saturday. "But if they're going to pitch me that way, I have to be able to use that side of the field. It's going to help continue to be a better hitter if I use that side of the field, not exclusively, but there are points when it needs to happen or you'll be unsuccessful."
Entering Saturday, Bruce was 6-for-27 (.222) with one homer on balls hit to the opposite field. In general, he's been working on becoming a more consistent hitter to all fields.
"It's been a process," said Bruce who came into Saturday's matchup batting .253 with 17 homers and 54 RBIs overall this season. "It hasn't happened as quickly as I'd like. But it's only been a half a season and there's a lot of season left. I'm continuing to get better."